Best Man Responsibilities
Your best friend just asked you to be the best man at his wedding and, with no hesitation, you eagerly accept! But what now? While a great honor, the role of best man comes with great responsibility, more than just standing next to the groom on his big day. Here's how to be the best, best man!
Before The Wedding
Before the official wedding day, the best man has some very important tasks that must be completed to make the big day a success. Traditionally, the best man helps the groom choose the formal wear for himself and the other groomsmen in the wedding party. Remember, there is a lot more to formal wear than a tux and black bow tie. Ask the bride what she envisions the guys wearing, including the color of the suit, tux and accessories. (Buying all the groomsmen accessories from Tiemart is more affordable than renting, hint, hint.) Make sure all the groomsmen know the details of their attire and have made arrangements.
If any groomsmen will be traveling from out of town, the best man should help arrange accommodations for them. This could include offering up a guest room or ensuring they have information on the hotel block or local hotels.
Now it’s time for a little fun. As the best man, it's probably safe to say you know the groom best. From what he does for fun, his favorite food, drink of choice. This will all come in handy since the best man is in charge of planning the bachelor party. (Here are some tips for planning an epic bachelor party.)
Your final pre-wedding day responsibility is to attend the rehearsal and dinner. The rehearsal cannot start until the entire wedding party is in attendance, so DON’T BE LATE!! After the rehearsal dinner, it is common for the best man and maid of honor to give a toast. Now this isn't the full wedding day speech, but rather something a little more low-key.
The big day has arrived and it’s time to pat your best friend on the back, wish him a lifetime of happiness and stand by his side at the altar, right? WRONG! There are still a lot of responsibilities for the best man on the wedding day. The most important of which is making sure the groom and groomsmen arrive to the ceremony venue on time. The groom has a lot on his mind, so double check that he and the wedding party are presentable, organized and in the right places at the right time. While a pre-wedding drink or shot may be appropriate, the best man needs to make sure everyone stays composed and saves the drinking for the reception.
The best man is also in charge of holding the wedding rings for safe keeping. (We’ve all seen the sitcom where the priest asks for the rings and they are nowhere to be found. Don’t be that guy.) If there is a ring bearer, check with the bride and groom to see if he should have the rings to walk down the aisle. Some will, others will feel more secure with the rings tucked in your pocket.
If there are no ushers in the wedding party, as guest begin to arrive, take on the role and escort them to their seats.
An important role of the best man is being a witness during the marriage license signing. When and if this is done varies by state and ceremony venue. In some states, this is done by the bride and groom when they pick up the license, no witness needed. In other states, this is done on the wedding day. Some couples will sign the license before the ceremony, others will incorporate it into the ceremony. If it's after the ceremony and you haven't seen the license signed, check with the bride and groom to make sure this detail hasn't been overlooked. Also make sure that the officiant or couple will be returning the signed license to the town or county clerk post ceremony.
Even at the reception, the best man still has responsibilities. When the time is appropriate, be the first to toast the newlyweds. Remember, don’t wing this speech. Your toast can be funny, anecdotal or sentimental, but don’t forget to wish the couple a lifetime of happiness.
As the night progresses, mingle with the guests and make sure they are having a good time. Offer to dance with the bride, maid of honor, even the mother of the bride or groom. At some point in the night, gather up the wedding party and decorate the getaway car. (When the bride and groom are ready to leave, help them make it to the door and escape.)
As the night winds down, it is the best man’s responsibility to gather any gifts and cards left for the newlyweds and bring them to a previously designated area. If any debts are still owed for the venue or wedding vendors, the best man should be sure final payments are received. (This doesn’t mean paying out of your own pocket. Check with the the bride and groom or other paying family members and offer to deliver those final payments.) And finally, if any of the wedding attire was rented, collect it from the groom and groomsmen and make sure all items are returned on time. This is usually a day or two after the wedding.
The Do Nots
As the best man, you have a lot of to dos. Just as crucial are the DO NOTs.
- Most importantly, do not accept the role of best man if you don't have the time or money to do so. This is especially the case for destination wedding where you'll be responsible for airfare and lodging.
- Do not wing the toast speech, have it prewritten.
- Do not get too drunk. Have a good time, but remember there are a lot of responsibilities to be taken care of all through the night.
- Do not change out of the tux/wedding attire at the wedding reception. If you're heading somewhere to celebrate after the reception, it's fine to change then.
- Do not hit on the bridal party; show them the utmost respect.
- Do not get the groom drunk before the ceremony, a drink or two may be acceptable, but keep it at that.
- Do not take over the dance floor, the center of attention should be the bride and groom.
- And finally, DO NOT BE LATE…to anything.